Walking Holidays in Tavira and the Real Algarve

Small Group Walking

Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights

Tavira is an ancient Moorish town that has retained its unique character and heritage. The town extends along the banks of the Gilão River and is a delightful mix of traditional Portuguese architecture with deep-rooted Moorish influences.

Our walks take us to Tavira Island in the Natural Park, taking in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and to pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luzia, Cabanas, and Cacela Velha. Inland we wind our way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral, with wide rewarding views.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

Tavira is an ancient Moorish town that has retained its unique character and heritage. The town extends along the banks of the Gilão River and is a delightful mix of traditional Portuguese architecture with deep-rooted Moorish influences.

Layers of history can be seen, from Phoenician excavations through Islamic-decorated doorways to Renaissance and Baroque flourishes. However, it is the colors that hit you: blinding-white walls, brilliant azulejo tiles, fiery-red pantiles.

Group walking East algarve countryside

Group walking East Algarve countryside

Tavira is arguably the Algarve’s prettiest town and exudes an authentic Portuguese charm. Big hotels are few, churches are many, fishing boats crowd the river and everyone has time to dawdle.

Beautiful empty beaches with sands that seem to go on forever. Fields of orange trees, heavy with the scent of blossom. Then the hills of fig and almond trees and houses with dazzling whitewashed walls and distinctive chimneys decorated to resemble fine tracery of lace. And, last of all, the great open spaces. This is just a hint of the charms of Tavira and its municipality, an invitation to come and find out more.

Santa luzia walking - Typical fishing village in East Algarve walking holidays

Santa Luzia walking – Typical fishing village in East Algarve walking holidays

Our walks take us to Tavira Island in the Natural Park, taking in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and to pretty coastal villages such as Santa Luzia, Cabanas, and Cacela Velha. Inland we wind our way between hills and valleys to the low peak of Zimbral, with wide rewarding views.

Ancient trails take us past farms, through an intricate patchwork of orange groves, olive and carob orchards. Sometimes we walk beside rivers; other times amongst the pines and cork oaks. Through most of our season, we are presented with an endless and ever-changing procession of beautiful flowers.

We’ll also enjoy dinners at local restaurants giving the opportunity to sample the wonderful Portuguese cuisine and wines.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Faro

Transfer by road from Faro airport to Tavira. Short introductory walk around Tavira. Free time until evening meeting and dinner.

Roman bridge in Tavira Venice of Algarve

Roman bridge in Tavira Venice of Algarve

Day 2 – Zimbral

A wonderful walk through open rolling hillsides. Spectacular views allow a tremendous appreciation of the region.
We walk through fascinating villages and descend to finish in a low fertile valley full of orange orchards and smallholdings.

Distance: 14.6km /Ascent/Descent: +200m/400m

Oranges in West Algarve orchard

Oranges in West Algarve orchard

Day 3 – Santa Luzia and Tavira Island

A remarkably varied walk on the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
Our walk takes us through Tavira’s salt pans which date back thousands of years.
We take a relaxing break in the fishing village of Santa Luzia with its glorious waterfront.
And we walk along Tavira Island’s beach regarded by many as one of the finest in the world with its vast stretches of golden sand and sparkling blue waters.
The walk will feature a fascinating boat ride between Tavira & Tavira Island.
Distance: 15.3km / Ascent/descent: minimal

Day 4 – Santa Catarina, Cerâmicas

A gorgeous walk, much of it on a waymarked route, titled “routes and crossroads to the fountain”.
This intricate mix of paths and tracks passes through wild open hillsides, intimate smallholdings, and quintessential Algarve hamlets.

Distance: 13.6km / Ascent: 350m Descent: 300m

Day 5 – Manta Rota to Cabanas

Classic coastal walk following the inner shoreline and visiting the iconic village of Cacela Velha before arriving in Cabanas for a well-earned rest in one of the many cafés lining this spectacular waterfront.
From here we will boat back to Tavira along the calm inner waterways.

Distance: 14.6km / Ascent/descent: minimal

Walking in Cabanas de Tavira along the Ria Formosa

Walking in Cabanas along the Ria Formosa

Day 6 – Free Day

This is an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the attractions of Tavira and its surroundings. You can walk/tour independently, or visit local places of interest. From Tavira, there is a wide variety of sightseeing available (we can advise and/or recommend options according to your interests). In their free time keen bird-watchers may wish to visit Castro Marim in the fens and marshes of the “Reserva Natural do Sapal”, famous for their flamingos, or enjoy other local sightseeing tours.

Cubic rooftops Olhao

Cubic rooftops Olhao

Day 7 – São Brás de Alportel

We travel inland to the ancient town of S Brás do Alportel, the center of cork production in the Algarve.
Our walk enables us to explore the rolling wooded hillsides and verdant valleys of the area.
We will have time to enjoy the charming narrow streets of the old town and, of course, indulge in the cafés where the local carob and almond cakes are the stars of the show.

Distance: 14.5km / Ascent/descent: +/-300m

Cork in Serra do Caldeirao Algarve

Cork in Serra do Caldeirao Algarve

Day 8 – Santa Catarina, Mesquita, Bengado

An inland walk through one of the most beautiful and interesting valleys in the Algarve.
Santa Catarina is one of the centers for the production of carob, almond, fig, olive oil, and medronho and the surrounding countryside we walk through reflects this.
We will also pass tiny brick and tile works whose hand-made craft dates back to before Roman times.

Distance: 12.3km / Ascent/Descent: : 200m/300m

Santa Catarina Fonte Bispo tiles

Santa Catarina Fonte Bispo tiles

Day 9 – Tavira to Fuzeta

A lovely walk following the Algarve’s Ecovia. We pass by old estates with orange, figs, and almond orchards and through the salt pans of Fuzeta where we are able to appreciate the rich birdlife of the area.

Distance: 16.5km / Ascent/Descent: minimal

Day 10 – Altura to Vila Real de Santo António

After a glorious section along Altura’s beach, we move into the cooling pine woodlands that shelter this coastline.
The walk finishes in the town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio lying by the side of the River Guadiana and looking across to its sister town of Ayamonte in Spain.

Distance: 11.1km / Ascent/Descent: minimal

Cacela Velha Beach

Cacela Velha Beach

Day 11 – Olhão to Fuzeta

Olhão is one of the few working towns left in the Algarve and home to perhaps the finest market, not just in the Algarve, but perhaps the country.
We will to enjoy the waterfront and market of Olhão before meandering along the coastline towards the fishing town of Fuzeta.

Distance: 12.4km / Ascent/Descent: minimal

Olhão market

Olhão market

Day 12 – Departure

After breakfast transfer to the airport.

Info

Maria Nova Hotel, Tavira

Maria Nova Hotel, Tavira

Hotel

Maria Nova Adults Lounge Hotel (4****) or similar

Located a 5-minute walk from Tavira’s bustling town center, Maria Nova Lounge Hotel enjoys a quiet hillside location. Its modern rooms feature a private balcony, large windows, a minibar, satellite TV, and an en-suite bathroom.
Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools. The Bar Panorâmico offers panoramic views over Tavira.

What's included

Accommodation

  • 11 nights in a twin standard room for two pax (4 stars hotel)
  • Shared ensuite room with a traveling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 11 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 11 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided walking holidays and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you traveling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travelers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.

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